Who Am I to Speak for God?

We craft personas as preachers. God prefers to use us as real people.
Who Am I to Speak for God?
Image: Ben White / Unsplash

I preached my first sermon to my home church while still a student in seminary. Everybody showed up to hear it—aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins, the Sunday school teachers and youth workers and other mentors who’d had a hand in my spiritual nurturing—all of them about ready to burst with pride at my being a preacher. They sweetly poured on praise with sugar and said my sermon was just fine, bless his heart. One old gentleman went so far as to glad-fist a hundred-dollar bill into my hand on his way out. I reread that first sermon recently, and it truly was terrible. The old gentleman gave me that hundred out of necessity. He knew there was no way I would make it as a minister.

The fact that Jesus’ first sermon worried his home congregation gave me solace. Though Jesus’ sermon excelled and astounded the crowd, they nevertheless suspiciously whispered, Where did this man get such wisdom and these deeds of power? Isn’t he that carpenter’s ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

From Issue:Fall 2020: The State of Preaching
Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Fewer Whiffs
Fewer Whiffs
From the Magazine
Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists
Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists
These young influencers want to #MakeJesusViral.
Editor's Pick
How Culture Shapes Sermons
How Culture Shapes Sermons
Recent books on culturally distinct preaching challenge misconceptions and equip diverse pastors to better address a multiethnic world.
close